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Skyjuice boost to Sri Lankan tsunami recovery.



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MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Bruce Billson MP Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Trade

AA 05 36 25 May 2005

Skyjuice boost to Sri Lankan tsunami recovery

More than 100,000 people in tsunami affected areas in Sri Lanka will receive up to 20 litres of high quality drinking water each day thanks to Australian made water purification units, the Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Bruce Billson, said today.

‘The Sydney based, non-profit charity organisation, The Skyjuice Foundation, has donated 55 water purification units to international non government organisations in Sri Lanka, including Red Cross Germany, World Vision International and Oxfam Great Britain,’ Mr Billson said.

‘The donation of these units, which has been facilitated by the Australian High Commission in Colombo, is helping to provide Sri Lankans with crucial drinking water after the devastation of the Boxing Day tsunami.

‘The High Commission has done an excellent job in facilitating Skyjuice contact with international NGOs by hosting an open day in Sri Lanka to promote the units, which are now being used extensively throughout affected areas,’ Mr Billson said.

‘Last week in Sri Lanka, the Foundation agreed on an important MOU with Oxfam Great Britain who have requested a further 200 units as part of the Skyjuice Cleanup Cleanwater Tsunami Project in Sri Lanka.

‘Skyjuice has adapted micro-fibre technology into small portable units to filter out the smallest of bacteria and has a wide application for cleansing water from lagoons and other fresh water sources,’ Mr Billson said.

‘I would like to congratulate chairman and founder Mr Rhett Butler on his outstanding contribution to humanitarian services and his tireless work to help those in need.

‘This exceptional project is an important part of Australian Government, NGO and individual efforts to assist the people of Sri Lanka in recovering from the tragedy of the tsunami,’ Mr Billson said.

In 2005-06, as part of a record overseas aid budget of $2.491 billion, the Australian Government will contribute more than $29 million in development assistance to Sri Lanka which includes improving access to health and education. The Australian Government provided more than $10 million in emergency tsunami relief to the people of Sri Lanka.

Media inquiries: Shane Fairlie (Mr Billson’s office) 0408 680 442

Media releases and speeches are available on AusAID’s internet site www.ausaid.gov.au